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  • MEDA - Improved Multipurpose Planters: New tech for MEDA’s women soybean farmers
    planter distribution in Upper West Region Antika hosted a celebration and demonstration for the farmers community members and representatives from USAID ATT MEDA and its key facilitating partners PRUDA CAPECS CARD TUDRIDEP and PRONET Abdulai Antiku managing director of Antika welcomed a crowd of over 100 attendees and discussed the importance of new technologies to improve Ghana s agricultural production These are some of the innovations that are gradually changing the primitive methods of farming inherited from our ancestors The women s involvement in farming is clearly demonstrated here We hope these planters will go a long way to improve and boost their farming activities especially because planting is one of the most tedious activities in farming USAID s Ghana deputy mission director Andy Karas traveled from Accra to present the planters and congratulate the women He was pleased that The community members particularly the women who are so important to the agricultural sector here in Ghana and everywhere that the women themselves have seen the value of the planters and I understand are contributing a significant portion of money to the purchase of these planters So they can plant more efficiently and realize greater yield and production because they ve invested in this improved technology Karas also reinforced the importance of public and private partnerships technology and innovation and supporting especially women farmers to increase Ghana s food security He noted women are the backbone of farming but often not enough attention is focused on how to help them This is a very concrete way that we re doing that These are labor saving technologies that making planting easier that make the work more efficient There are many other demands on women as heads of household in much of Ghana So this technology I m very pleased is going to have a very beneficial impact on women in particular and by extension children husbands all of us in the communities He also thanked everyone for their support and contributions especially MEDA for their integral partnership on the agricultural and nutrition side in the northern sector In addition to the short demonstration on how to use the planter at nearby field later this month MEDA and ATT will be conducting follow up training on proper handling and maintenance of the planters in the communities As MEDA program coordinator Livinus Balog pointed out It is one thing having the equipment and another thing knowing how to use it properly Mr Balog also said MEDA is looking forward to further collaboration so they can link more GROW farmers to planters and other technologies Abena Baagiro from Suke Lambussie Karne District a GROW farmer since 2013 expressed her excitement I m happy that I will get one planter today and move on planting my things early She applied for a planter because it will speed up the sowing process Abena said in the past she used a rope to create her rows and planted seeds by hand which was so labor intensive that

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/media-centre-press-releases/1683-improved-multipurpose-planters-new-tech-for-meda-s-women-soybean-farmers (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - Bike to GROW tops $100K entering Ontario
    MEDA Mennonite Economic Development Associates interns Fehr and French are on a four month bike ride across Canada called Bike to GROW to raise 150 000 for MEDA s GROW Greater Rural Opportunities for Women project in Ghana In a matter of days the Bike to GROW duo surpassed 75 000 the halfway point to their 150 000 goal and then 100 000 a special surprise in time for Canada Day Reaching these milestones in our home province was amazing We re thankful to many giving Canadians and Americans who have supported us thus far says Fehr It provides the motivation we need to bike up those long hills continue in the rain and start the day when we re already tired Complete strangers have opened their homes hearts and wallets to provide a place to sleep a complimentary meal or a friendly face in unfamiliar places says French We ve met so many people who are inspired by our efforts and MEDA s work Mary and I in turn are equally touched by their generosity and kindness The young women look forward to reaching their hometowns in the coming weeks Sarah is from Picton ON and Mary from Leamington ON Our friends and families have been a great support system while we re on the road says French Fehr adds But we re eager to celebrate with them in person at the finish line Bike to GROW began May 18 in Victoria BC and will conclude Sept 1 in St John s Newfoundland On the way Sarah and Mary are stopping at MEDA chapters churches and community centres to speak with locals about MEDA the GROW project and their experience Funded by Canada s Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development DFATD MEDA s GROW project focuses on improving

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/media-centre-press-releases/1668-bike-to-grow-tops-100k-entering-ontario (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - MEDA volunteer auditor reflects on work in Ghana
    trip but the timing had never worked with the accounting cycles at his busy bank job Then he met for coffee with MEDA resource development officer Marion Good and he learned a trip to Ghana scheduled for February had been pushed to March A couple of days later MEDA internal auditor Susan Schmitz called him Susan and I chatted and by the time I was off the phone I had pretty much decided I wanted to do it In quick order Larry was led through the steps in preparing for his trip I was really impressed by how organized MEDA s communication and guidance was in that respect Corina McGillivray sent an application for a visa and security briefing since there is some degree of risk as well as an application for the role I had been to Africa before in 2008 my brother and I and our wives travelled to Botswana and Zambia where he had served as a doctor for two years at a local hospital That trip gave me some idea of what to expect Susan provided other relevant information and Scott Ruddick called to give me a security briefing MEDA s security consciousness was evident from the use of Travel Tracker consolidated organizational travel tracking software and the support of in country staff Larry s training and experience in auditing and accounting equipped him for the role He didn t get into the field or have a chance to meet the women soy farmers in the project he said but it s surprising what you can learn from an organization s records I was able to observe firsthand that MEDA has a culture of internal discipline regarding the use of donor funds just due to the fact that MEDA is willing to take volunteer auditors along

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/media-centre-press-releases/1669-meda-volunteer-auditor-reflects-on-work-in-ghana (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - Cycling for a cause
    000 women farmers and their families to sustainably emerge from poverty Mary and I wanted to support a project that focused on women because we saw the gender inequalities while on our own internships said French It couldn t be more symbolic Two women cycling across Canada representing independent self sufficient women Bike to GROW will begin May 18 in Victoria BC and conclude September 5 in Leamington ON On the way Sarah and Mary will stop at MEDA chapters churches and community centres to speak with locals about MEDA the GROW project and their experience I love to take on a challenge and prove to myself that absolutely anything is possible with willpower and determination Fehr said Sarah and I cannot fail especially with the amazing support we ve received We re no longer just biking for ourselves but for all of MEDA MEDA s supporters and of course the women and families in Ghana It s really inspiring to see Sarah and Mary s passion for how MEDA works and their determination to succeed for women in Ghana said Ethan Eshbach coordinator of engagement initiatives Bike to GROW has encouraged many people to join us in our mission to create business solutions to poverty Anyone can help by offering financial support a place to sleep or by organizing a local event GROW is helping women soybean farmers in Northern Ghana increase agricultural production strengthen their links to markets diversify the food they produce and understand more about nutrition Funded by Canada s Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development DFATD this six year project will improve the incomes and food security of 20 000 women and their families We re so blessed and honored that women like Sarah and Mary want to support our efforts to empower women

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/media-centre-press-releases/1611-cycling-for-a-cause (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - Women farmers learn about smart technologies for the future
    and learn about smart technologies that increase productivity The forum drew value chain actors and development agencies across Ghana working on soybeans rice and corn During a welcome address Brian Kiger from the United States Agency of International Development s USAID Agriculture Technology Transfer ATT project urged the farmers to try something new this season and challenged them to increase their productivity According to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture MoFA to sustain Ghana s current population growth Ghana must double its food production by 2030 MEDA s GROW project funded by Canada s Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development DFATD is working hard to contribute to this goal By 2018 GROW aims to assist 20 000 women farmers in northern Ghana to produce soybeans increasing their family s food security and income The GROW farmers attended presentations and discussions about new technologies farming best practices available financial services for small farmers crop insurance and information technology services for the latest crop prices and weather news They also had a chance to network with seed suppliers financial services providers information technology providers agro chemical suppliers and many private exhibitors to learn about their products I learned the type of seed you need to sow to get a better harvest certified seed said Kutum George a GROW lead farmer from the Wa East District She plans to contact the agro chemical suppliers and seed planter sellers she met before next planting season Kutum grew one acre of soybeans last year but hopes to expand her farm to three acres this season Another GROW farmer from the Wa West District Sandii Yikpolp felt that she benefited most from learning about conservation agriculture I farm soybeans What I learned is that you need to start planning early and you don t need to burn everything in the farm she said Leave it dusty and use cover crops so that you fertilize it Like the others Sandii is excited to share her new knowledge with the women farmers in her community in the hope that they will all increase their productivity this season Abdullai Ayishetu a GROW farmer in the Lambussie Karni District felt that the forum was very useful to her Actually I ve learned a lot You have to consider your land seed money you re going to invest and the timing too Ayishetu plans to expand her soybean farm from one acre to one and a half this season She was actively engaging with what seemed like all of the exhibitors I didn t know there were other organizations apart from Farmerline Today I saw all of them When Ayishetu was asked if she would continue growing soybeans even after MEDA s GROW project ended she replied with a smile Come what may rain or shine I will farm soybeans With farmers like Kutum Sandii and Ayishetu trying new methods and expanding their crop productions it offers hope for a food secure future in Ghana For more information please contact

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/media-centre-press-releases/1612-women-farmers-learn-about-smart-technologies-for-the-future (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - Cuso International and MEDA invest in Nigeria’s future leaders
    Cross River State CRS 45 of youth are unemployed or underemployed But MEDA Mennonite Economic Development Associates is working with fellow development organization Cuso International to assist youth who are trying to break into the labor force and build a life for themselves While Nigeria is Africa s largest economy only 21 of youth have access to a formal bank account 17 save formally and 2 have received a formal loan The mismatch of youth education skills and those required by the natural resource industry coupled with gender barriers and unsafe poorly compensated work pose significant challenges to youth searching for economic opportunities A new project YouLead Youth Leadership Entrepreneurship Access and Development promotes youth employment and entrepreneurship in natural resources sectors such as agriculture forestry ecotourism and aquaculture By providing skills training tools and access to finance 7 000 working and entrepreneurial youth in CRS be able to prosper economically Over five years 2014 2019 MEDA will work with Cuso International to help local financial service providers better respond to the needs of young adults in CRS YouLead is a great opportunity to build on MEDA s success and learning with the YouthInvest project in Morocco and Egypt said MEDA s Jen Denomy director of Youth Economic Opportunities Working with local MFIs we will improve their ability to offer inclusive financial services for Nigerian youth especially those looking to find a job or start their own business We are excited to be working with Cuso International on this project The project is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development DFATD Cuso International and MEDA supporters For more information please contact Linda Whitmore lwhitmore meda org Jaclyn Stief jstief meda org 519 725 1633 About Mennonite Economic Development Associates MEDA MEDA is an international economic development organization

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/media-centre-press-releases/1595-cuso-international-and-meda-invest-in-nigeria-s-future-leaders (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - New MEDA staff named in Pennsylvania and Ohio
    as regional directors of resource development Leaman is based at MEDA s Lancaster PA office while Nussbaum works from Orrville Ohio Director Marlin Hershey said It s rare to have the opportunity to hire two people who bring such deep experience in addition to their passion for MEDA s vision as do Bethany and Ruth They re a fantastic addition to our resource development team Leaman brings six years of successful fundraising experience in Mennonite education to her new role Ruth most recently worked at Hinkletown Mennonite School where she led a major capital campaign as their director of advancement Previously as an executive advancement associate at Lancaster Mennonite School she launched an international development program MEDA brings expertise rigor and innovation to tackle tough issues of poverty and economic inequality facing our world says Leaman who has also worked in public accounting I m energized to invite individuals and businesses to partner with MEDA in empowering those in poverty toward their desired future of self sustainability and dignity Nussbaum joins MEDA with nine years of fundraising experience She recently comes from Central Christian School in Kidron Ohio where she provided leadership to fundraising and marketing efforts as advancement director Prior to that she was a development associate and communications coordinator at Mennonite Mission Network Bethany earned her bachelor of arts in communication and public relations from Goshen College and a certificate in fundraising management from Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis She is currently pursuing an MBA with an emphasis in leadership I am extremely humbled and grateful to be part of the inspiring and impactful work that MEDA enables around the world Nussbaum said Empowering others to lead themselves using the sustainable solution of business is a growing passion that already is bringing much joy Dave Warren MEDA

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/media-centre-press-releases/1587-new-meda-staff-named-in-pennsylvania-and-ohio (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - Media Centre / Press Releases
    world a better place This year MEDA is pleased to welcome Everence Financial as the official sponsor for the awards As an organization that embraces MEDA values we are delighted to partner with them in this initiative says Warren The awards are changing the lives of past recipients Chris Steingart owner of QT Webdesign in Kitchener ON and a 2014 20 Under 35 award honoree said recently that this recognition positively impacted his business Clients saw the coverage that came with winning a 20 Under 35 award and it reminded them to get in touch with my business Award recipients will be celebrated at the 2015 MEDA Convention in Richmond Virginia To nominate an exceptional young professional today visit 20under35 com For more information please contact Linda Whitmore lwhitmore meda org Ethan Eshbach eeshbach meda org 519 725 1633 or 1 800 665 7026 About Mennonite Economic Development Associates MEDA MEDA is an international economic development organization whose mission is to create business solutions to poverty Founded in 1953 by a group of Mennonite business professionals we partner with the poor to start or grow small and medium sized businesses in developing regions around the world Our expertise includes a full range of economic development tools financial services improved technology business training better access to markets and equity investment Our work most often focuses on women youth and the rural poor We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to earn a livelihood and that unleashing entrepreneurship is a powerful way to alleviate poverty About Everence Everence helps individuals organizations and congregations integrate faith with finances through a national team of advisors and representatives Everence offers banking insurance and financial services with community benefits and stewardship education Everence is a ministry of Mennonite Church USA and other churches To learn more visit everence com or call 800 348 7468 Email Print Improved Multipurpose Planters New tech for MEDA s women soybean farmers FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 19 2015 Wa Ghana Women soybean farmers are getting a boost from new labor saving technology thanks to a U S Agency for International Development USAID grant program More than 80 excited women in Mennonite Economic Development Associates MEDA Greater Rural Opportunities for Women GROW project have received new multipurpose planters GROW with funding from the Canadian government and MEDA supporters focuses on improving food security for families in Northern Ghana by assisting women farmers to grow soybeans and forge market links that will increase incomes Picture USAID deputy mission director Andy Karas congratulates MEDA program coordinator Livinus Balog and GROW farmers and on their new planters USAID s Agriculture Technology Project ATT project offers grants to small scale farmers that cover 70 of the GHS275 62 50 USD cost for a planter with the women contributing the remaining 30 about GHS82 18 64 USD The first group of women got a discounted price but subsequent buyers will pay the regular price Demand is expected to increase once others see the benefits of the

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/media-centre-press-releases?start=4 (2016-02-17)
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